DAZN’s free UEFA Women’s Champions League broadcasts are paying dividends
The GIST: DAZN’s free UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) broadcasts are paying dividends. The streamer published a survey yesterday showing that its two-year experiment broadened the soccer tourney’s audience and increased sponsorship interest before it paywalls games next season.
The audience: Since 2021, DAZN’s YouTube channel gained 362K subscribers, where fans in 230 territories watched free UWCL coverage. Spain, the U.S., France, Germany, Indonesia, the U.K., Italy, Mexico, and Chile boasted the highest viewership figures, and 65% of viewers were aged 18 to 34, while 83% of all viewers were men.
The survey: A whopping 80% of fans surveyed said DAZN’s broadcasts increased their knowledge of women players, while 40% said they’re more interested in attending a women’s match. For 46% of respondents, the UWCL content “made them like women’s soccer more,” and 18% said it changed their views of the women’s game.
- Their new fandom also changed search habits — Google searches for “UWCL” rose sixfold YoY, and search queries for the competition persisted throughout the season. Move on up.
The impact: Clubs and players are feeling the love from fans and sponsors alike. Over half of clubs surveyed said DAZN’s coverage positively impacted their revenue, and 77% noticed increased sponsor interest. Players also said their social media followings grew, as did demand from other clubs and brands.
- Teams did sacrifice fees from domestic deals since DAZN holds global rights to the UWCL, but a growing international fanbase means new revenue streams for teams in smaller cities like France’s Olympique Lyonnais and Germany’s VfL Wolfsburg.
Zooming out: Through its uniquely free broadcasts, DAZN successfully increased the UWCL’s value and provided a case study in launching an untested property. The experiment will also likely help the UWCL realize its financial potential — the commercial value of European women’s soccer could reach $698M in 10 years. Kicking (gr)ass.